Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Babbitt and Harris

From Mark Mayerson's blog: (LINK for full post)
He writes: "Børge Ring sent me this anecdote about Art Babbitt being something of an animation snob.
First time Babbitt came to London Dick Williams picked him up at the airport. On the way to town Dick said joyfully proud: "We've got Ken Harris." Babbitt frowned. "But eh: Isn't that somebody from Warner Brothers and all that?"Dick laughed and said: "I'll show you tomorrow."Next morning he took Art to the movieola and ran a string of Ken's scenes of the Thief. Babbitt was baffled. "Well I'll be damned." He and Ken Harris became great friends at Dick's formidable small studio..."


Doug said...

Funny story! Just came back for a visit after having been away for awhile and I'm so glad to see that you're still at this blog. Thank you and please keep going!!!

Maurice said...

1) What currently-operating 2D animation studio would be today's equivalent of the Schlesinger Studio as a competitor to Disney?

2) Did Eric Goldberg animating some scenes of the Witch? If Disney ever wanted to bring Richard Williams back to finish "Thief and the Cobbler", perhaps Eric will return to the character(s) he animated in the 1970s and 1980s. Also, my guess is that Mark Henn would handle Tack, and Andreas Deja (Richard's top animator on Roger Rabbit!) would replace Neil Boyle in handling the Thief.

Anonymous said...

Maurice :

Why would Neil Boyle need to be "replaced" by Andreas Deja as an animator on this hypothetical version of The Thief ? Has Neil given up on animation ?

Maurice said...

1) Neil Boyle, if my knowledge is correct, was employed by Richard from the beginning of work on "Roger Rabbit" until the dissolving of the studio in 1993. He replaced Ken Harris as lead animator on the Thief.

As far as I know, he's not currently employed to Disney. Andreas Deja, who IS still employed there for 2D work, is in my mind the closest Renaissance Man equivalent to Ken Harris.

2) Adding to predictions on my previous post: Ruben Aquino would supervise the animation of Zig-Zag, and Nik Ranieri would handle King Nod.

Anonymous said...

Well, interesting dream casting there ,
but I'd still say that since Neil Boyle is the closest still-living person to have been a lead animator on the Thief character under Williams's direct supervision in the original version and presumably still able to hold a pencil, then Disney could hire Neil to work on this hypothetical version of The Thief & the Cobbler . People do come and go from Disney all the time on a project by project basis.

And while we're still indulging in dream casting , I would say THE Disney animator who is probably most suited to Zig-Zag is in fact Nik Ranieri.

Maurice said...

With a lineup that include the ten supervising animators on Disney's upcoming "Princess and the Frog", and the "Thief and the Cobbler" animators of the 1989 - 1993 period, I personally would cast animators as follows to finish the remaining 15 minutes of footage:

Alex Williams and Mark Henn collaborating on Tack.
Neil Boyle and Andreas Deja collaborating on the Thief.
David Byers-Brown and Nik Ranieri (thanks, anonymous) collaborating on Zig-Zag.
Andreas Wessel-Therhorn and Duncan Marjoribanks collaborating on Phido.
Holger Leihe and Ruben Aquino animating the Brigands.
Anthony DeRosa animating King Nod.
Randy Haycock animating Princess Yumyum.
Bruce Smith animating the One-Eyes.
Eric Goldberg animating the Witch (although as far as I know the Witch animation has all been completed).

Of course, only Richard Williams can make such a decision.

Nils Poulsen said...

That's a pointless discussion. Please stop.

Anonymous said...

Are you talking about Neil Boyle, bswca? He passed away Feb. 4, 2006

Holger said...

@ Anonymous:
You are talking about the painter Neil Boyle.
Neil Boyle the animator is alive and well. Check out the links in my latest post from October 21, 2011.